Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2020 July 01 • Wednesday

Men's Adventure Magazines, a staple of a certain kind of mid-century page-turning entertainment, has its own cottage industry of research and reference books.

There are several places to start, of course, but the only book that I've read on the subject so far is this memoir of the female model for a huge number of illustrations, paintings and photographs for these magazines as well as numerous book covers, photographs, miscellaneous modeling gigs, appearances as an actress or extra in films and television programs, etc. She even had her own band, The Models, for a while!

The woman in question is, of course, Eva Lynd, who tells her story in Eva: Men's Adventure Supermodel, edited by Robert Deis & Wyatt Doyle.

That's the hardcover edition. There's also a paperback with a different cover and, for some reason, a lot fewer pages. (Who would want that?)

The harcover's cover image comes from here:

Don't confuse New Man's cover story, "The Passion Decoys Who Blasted the Nazis" with Bluebook's cover story, "The French Dynamite Dolls Who Blasted the Nazis".

It's Eva Lynd both times and artist Norm Eastman both times as well.

Lynd recounts her career with warmth and fondness and a light touch.

She was in Cuba months before Castro took over, had a charming interaction with Cary Grant while working as an extra on North by Northwest, won a hundred books from Peter Lawford at a party by throwing a bottle cap into a waste basket and has only glowing things to say about the artists and photographers she worked with, as well as the model who was her male counterpart, Steve Holland.

In the following image, Lynd is the model for four of the five women and Holland the model for both men. Al Rossi is the artist.

This style of painting and illustration… does it still exist? I'm sure people can do it but there probably isn't any demand for it outside of reproducing originals for a secondary collectors' market.

You might gain some new respect for the skill involved after seeing how they use photographic references to create these scenes. This book has several examples.

Eva Lynd was quite busy in the 1950s and 1960s. You never knew where you might see her. She even showed up in the 1958 Bowler's Handbook.

One of her more interesting gigs was certainly as a hair model for Salvador Dali, who was doing some thing where he created his own hair styles. Because I'm sure there was a huge demand for that.

The Dali hair style that Lynd modeled was called "French Bread". The other two pictured here are "Miss Sea Urchin" (center) and "Bullet" (right).

On a side note, I was watching Vertigo recently and my eye was caught by an issue of Swank magazine on Jimmy Stewart's coffeetable.

Film theorists have noticed this and incorporated it into a strategy of interpreting every single thing in every frame of the movie as an obvious Freudian sexual signifier.

Me, I just wanted to know what issue it was.

Vertigo was filmed in the autumn of 1957, so I presumed it could be from then or perhaps the summer before. (The November 1957 Swank had an article on Hitchcock so that would have been an amusing touchm but that's not what the cover looks like.)

I haven't been able to find any Swank magazine with that cover. (There are only a few that have the masthead in yellow, so that makes it easier to look for.)

But in my search, one that kept coming up and whose date would have made it perfect for the Vertigo coffeetable was the August 1957 Swank with none other than Ms. Eva Lynd on the cover!

She was everywhere! And she's still with us, healthy and happy in her California home though not, alas, appearing at Pulpfest 2020.

Maybe she can reschedule for next year. Let's hope!